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Thomas to return to White Sox

CHICAGO, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Frank Thomas told the Chicago White Sox that he will return for the 2004 season.

He beat a Thursday deadline for letting the team know about his intention for next season.

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"After weighing our options, we felt the best decision for Frank was to return to the White Sox," said Arn Tellem, Thomas' agent. "I know Frank would like nothing better than to help the White Sox win a World Series title."

In the 2003 campaign, Thomas, 35, 35, batted .267 with 42 home runs, 105 RBI, a .562 slugging percentage, and an on-base percentage of .390. He is a career .310 hitter with 418 home runs and 1,390 RBI.

In July, he hit his 400th career home run, and his No. 24 rank in major-league history with 1,386 walks attests to his round batting eye. The five-time All-Star has batted over .300 10 times in his 14-year major-league career, topped 30 home runs eight times, and has driven in more than 100 runs 10 times.

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